first_imgChennai, June 9 (PTI) The Madras High Court today stayed an order of All India Chess Federation (AICF) banning chess player Neelash Saha of West Bengal from representing India in international events for alleged match fixing during the national championship held in Gurgaon last year. Passing interim orders on a petition by Saha seeking to quash AICFs December 21, 2015 order banning him and February 26 last letter restricting him from participating in international events, Justice M Sathyanarayanan said a prima facie case had been made out for grant of the stay. “There shall be an order of Ad.Interim stay till July 15, 2016,” the Judge ordered and issued notice to the AICF President and Union Sports Ministry. He posted the matter for further hearing to July 15. The petitioner submitted that he emerged winner in the national championship held by AICF from August 30, 2015 to July 9, 2015 in Gurgaon with a 0.5 point lead over his immediate rival. By virtue of it, he became eligible for participation and sponsorship for major international competitions, including Asian Championships and World Championships. However, AICF in a showcause notice, charged Saha with having colluded with state-mate Aronyak Ghosh and made him feign indisposition and throw a point to his advantage, thereby enabling him to emerge champion. AICF in its December 21, 2015 order imposed penalties such as not allowing Saha to participate in any national or FIDE- rated eventor district/state championship till April 1, 2016 and not allowing him to participate in any international tournaments till Decmeber 31, 2016 representing India. He was also stripped of the gold medal awarded to him in the Gurgaon tournament. The petitioner alleged that apart from smacking of extreme regional bias, the showcause notice was in effect a pre-conceived order condemning him without any opportunity and on the basis of false statements. “A player of my talent and skill need not have risked my entire career in doing any such unethical act to win the tournament when it was all but certain that I would win against Ghosh,” he said. On his appeal seeking withdrawal of his suspension, AICF on February 19 last sent a reply stating that his appeal would be placed before the General Body, he said. But instead of convening the General Body, the AICF President suo motu wrote a letter on February 26 last relaxing the ban on him with the rider that he would be permitted to participate in domestic tournaments alone, he said. He contended that action of restricting the revocation only to domestic tournaments revealed the larger picture and the primary motivation behind the action against him. Stating that the major purpose of winning national championship was to participate in major international events, the petitioner said the act of AICF shows nepotism and with vested interests. PTI COR VS PAL DKadvertisementlast_img

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